Police Release Video Showing Suspect in Racism Incident at American University

Police at American University in Washington DC released security footage on Tuesday, May 2, showing the suspect in a racially-motivated incident targeting a black woman on campus the day before.

Campus newspaper The Eagle reported that bananas were found in three places on Monday morning, hanging by nooses and bearing the letters AKA, the acronym for the predominantly black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Police and college authorities later announced they were investigating what they described as a “racially motivated” incident. On Tuesday, police released this footage showing the perpetrator, and offered $1,000 for information leading to their identification.

The same day, The President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion held a town hall to discuss the incident. The Eagle reported that “more than a hundred students exited the chapel and marched to the Office of Financial Aid in the Asbury building to request withdrawal forms as an act of protest.”

This is the second investigation into racially motivated attacks involving bananas at the university since September, when two black female students were reportedly targeted.

The incident occurred the same day that Taylor Dumpson, the first black female student government president at the university, began her tenure. Dumpson issued a statement saying the incident was “disheartening and immensely frustrating,” and called for unity among all those who felt its effects. “This is not what I imagined my first letter to you all would be,” she said.

Alpha Kappa Alpha said it was “outraged by a demonstration of racism” on the campus of American University, and said the incident “marred the historic occasion of the first African American woman being installed as the Student Government Association (SGA) President.” Credit: American University Police via Storyful